We hired a skip today and cleared out the garage. It’s essential to keep our property clean so the rats don’t eat the Chinese takeaways I’m going to store in the freezer when Chung Hwa re-opens.


That’s what counts as my excitement until tomorrow, when I get to drive somewhere very exciting for exercise.

Probably NOT Banbury;


My 1,266 football programmes are now in alphabetical order (by club, not division) and I’ve got to make the brutal decision about what to dump.

Possibly not this one; 1973-74 FA Cup ties are ultra collectible. It even says “SPECIAL” on the front.

2.15pm kick-off to allow folk to be back for Phil Thompson’s expert analysis on Sky

A dull 0-0 and a dull programme, enlivened by the bizarre instruction from the Toy Shop in Leamington Spa, wherever that is.

Why ?

Only one pub bothered to advertise in 1973, the famous one.

Odd spelling of reindeer

Still the most alluring pub in town, with a high chance of gentlefolk and pashminas to accompany your Hooky.

More famous than the Cross, if I’m honest

It’s a pleasant enough town, scarred a bit by the modern shopping centre (see also : Aylesbury).

Not all that, is it ?
Pleasing church
Admittedly striking entrance to shopping centre

The main tourist attraction is La Lanterna Pizzeria, to which visitors flock (or would if they could) following the glowing review from one P. Edwardson Esq. I’m tempted to go there and ask for The Full Mudgie.

Only a couple of newbies in the Guide in a decade to join the ubiquitous White Horse. You can probably guess what one is.


Bailiff’s Tap


The sign said “No WiFi, we talk to each other here“. I tried that for a bit, before the attention drifted back to Untappd uploads.  Friendly but distracted, and the silence was awkward.

Still, good beer, and that’s what counts, isn’t it ?


LifeAfterFootball takes no notice of the GBG, and headed for the Bell, a Banbury boozer of some renown due to its rare house beer.

4 stars
Banbury 20.12.18  (7).jpg
Bench seating bit close to dartboard for comfort

The resident beer in the Three Pigeons was Doom Bar too.

Some of you will look at this, thatch, 4 AA stars and all, and think “Wow, lil Ol England“, while other will think “Formal gastropub hell“.  And you’d both be a bit right.

Mrs RM liked this one

Perhaps dull beers (not my words) CAN get you in the Guide.

Shame about the Purity

A couple our age came in. The chap said “Oooh. Tribute  !”. But not in an ironic way. Some folk in Oxon have yet to taste Bass, you know.

Mrs RM guards her pint of Gold

Fans of casual sexism will be delighted to know the lovely barmaid instinctively stuck the pint of Purity Gold in front of me. #WomenDrinkPintsToo

The food was superb, lamb and risotto scoffed in about 10 minutes. But Mrs RM was making the most of my chauffering, just as Pubmeister has just done in Pontfaen.

Have the Doom Bar” I urged. We have a strange marriage, I often think.

Doom Bar always look good in photos, I feel

She did. It was decent. 3.5, I thought. If a Doom Bar in a 4 star AA gastropub doesn’t get you rushing to Banbury when lockdown ends, nothing will.



  1. Don’t dump ’em, donate ’em. All football clubs have at least one (male) supporter, with horn-rimmed glasses and a fetching line in 1990s kagools, who will be made up when a box of old football programmes to sort through appears on the club house doorstep. At least, that’s what I say when the conversation about why I haven’t done anything about the thousands of programmes straining the attic ceiling crops up yet again.


  2. It may go against the received wisdom, but pretty much all the experiences of truly execrable, pig-ignorant service I’ve had have been in independent restaurants. Staff in chains at least tend to have a modicum of competence. Reminds me of the Istanbul Turkish restaurant in Shrewsbury the year before. At least in Banbury I actually got my food, but was then totally ignored afterwards.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. T’other Mudgie,
      I would rather be “totally ignored” than, as happened once, be asked if everything is alright by a member of staff who on me suggesting that the broccoli wasn’t quite cooked right – or whatever my observation was – shot off without a word as her basic training evidently didn’t extend to dealing with someone politely making a slightly negative comment.
      No better was after my breakfast in Congleton earlier this year a member of staff suddenly appearing from behind and whisking my blue and white plate away with a hurried “Enjoy your meal?” that I had no chance of responding to without “shouting” him back. I could only honestly have replied that it was “adequate”, the main failing being, as usual, lukewarm food brought from a distant ‘kitchen’ on a cold plate.


      1. In a hotel with a buffet breakfast, I have had my table cleared away while I was up getting items from the buffet. As a general principle, which applies to pubs as well as restaurants, I would say both the very best and very worst experiences occur in independent places. And single diners often get the short end of the stick.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. After a Sunday lunchtime getting round Banbury pubs 25 months ago ( on my way home from the Proper Day Out in Oxford ) I concluded that I should have just spent all my time in the Olde Reine Dearie.
    Reine is a girl’s name of French origin meaning “queen”.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Anon,
        Indeed and does anyone else remember Countess Spencer, Raine who was unpopular with her stepdaughter Lady Diana Spencer and her siblings who referred to their stepmother as “Acid Raine”.?

        Liked by 1 person

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